Oni Press 2016
Written by Janet Harvey
Illustrated by Megan Levens
Coloured by Nick Filardi
Lettered by Crank!
Frances Faye and Dolores Dare were best friends, once upon a time; small town girls with cardboard suitcases and dreams of Hollywood stardom. But that was the past. Now, Frances has been murdered, and the crooked Los Angeles cops don't care enough to solve the crime. Dolores hunts for the murderer everywhere, from high-end studio lots to seedy gambling dens. But as she gets closer to unraveling the mystery, she also near’s a betrayal that hits close to home.
Well now this is certainly one heck of a story. The word Dame hasn’t been used in a long time and that’s a shame because it really does describe Dolores incredibly well. Old Hollywood that behind its facade of Tinseltown was seething with corruptness that would make the East Coast Mob Scene jealous. I love that Dolores has the gumption to use her street smarts to do what she’s doing. Living a life of a kept woman, i’m assuming that’s what she is, hasn’t really sheltered all that much as we’re seeing here. All it took was the death of her longtime friend whom she fell out of touch with. Strange what circumstances are that will change your life forever.
I do like the look back at her youth and how she and Frances became friends. I also understand why she’d want to forget her past and relish in her current existence. Janet is really bringing us a full picture of Dolores and who she is not only the surface but that side of she’s tried so hard to hide. It makes her more relatable and likable not to mention way ahead of her time with all she’s getting into here.
Megan and Nick do a fantastic job on the interiors here. I really enjoy that this can be seen as an all-ages book where you don’t have to expose the body to make it seem sexy. The outfits that Dolores wears does wonders to make her feminine as well tough as nails. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds help control the flow of the story as well as flesh out the moment beautifully.
Also I have to give out some major props to Janet on how the story unfolds. From finding her way into a movie in a serial on a lot where she’s chasing down a lead to seeing her make new friends as well as in the morgue there’s a lot of things going on here that as an amatuer detective are hitting all the right notes. Everything we see and all her experiences makes her stronger and tougher and more of a force to be reckoned with.
Smart, sassy and full of chutzpah Dolores is the kind of character we’ve been waiting for. Forget it’s a period piece and think this is kind of woman who’ll be remembered for facing the adversity thrown at her and how she handles it!